Google Checkout or Paypal? The Debate Continues…

Filed in Google, Small Biz Marketing by Matt McGee on October 12, 2007 3 Comments

It’s an ongoing question for small business owners selling online: Should we use Google Checkout? PayPal? Both?

Before I go any further: I don’t have the answer to that question, and you may have noticed I made no mention of Google Checkout in my recent SEL articles about which Google products a small business should use. (Missed those? Here’s part one and part two.)

If a client asked for advice, I’d suggest research and testing to find out which is best for your situation. If I were an online retailer, I wouldn’t like the fact that using Google Checkout means I have no control over the end of the sale. The end of the transaction happens on Google, not on my web site. I can’t upsell related products, and I don’t get to add the customer to my e-mail database for follow-up communications (marketing or otherwise).

But there are other benefits to offering Google Checkout, including the low processing fees and the benefit of having a Google Checkout icon appear with an AdWords ad.

Fortunately, all of these issues and many more are covered in a terrific article by Don Davis in this month’s Internet Retailer. And the article is available on the magazine’s web site, too. Nice.

The online article is missing one important graphic from the print magazine:

Google Checkout or Paypal?

After reading the article, my overriding impression is this: PayPal aims to be more business-friendly, while Google Checkout aims to be more shopper-friendly. That doesn’t answer the question of which one to use, but it suggests to me that the debate is going to continue for some time to come.

If you’re an online retailer, I’d love to get your thoughts on the Paypal vs. Google Checkout debate.

Comments (3)

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  1. davidmihm says:

    Matt, your point of not being able to upsell or cross-promote related products at time-of-sale with G Checkout is one I’d never thought of & will certainly take to heart. I’ve only used G Checkout for non-profit donations so far, and it’s been a snap, but that is DEFINITELY something to keep in mind for e-tailers.

  2. Matt McGee says:

    It’s interesting how Google is taking the user-friendly approach and Paypal has the more business-friendly approach. Should be interesting to watch those stats over time about how many users each has….

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